The wreckage of a crashed Cessna 150 airplane lies in a field near Watkins, Co. on May 31, 2014.
Sgt Aaron Pataluna—Adams County Sheriff/Reuters
By Victor Luckerson
February 3, 2015

The fatal crash of a small airplane in Colorado last year likely occurred in part because the pilot was taking selfies, federal investigators said.

The pilot, Amritpal Singh, and his passenger were killed when their Cessna 150 crashed near Front Range Airport in Watkins shortly after midnight on May 31. National Transportation Safety Board says a GoPro camera recovered from the wreckage revealed that the pilot and various passengers had taken selfies in the plane with their cell phones, some using the camera’s flash function, during a series of past flights.

While the GoPro camera wasn’t recording the fatal flight, investigators concluded that the flash from a cell phone camera likely disoriented the pilot and contributed to his loss of control of the aircraft. Singh did not meet the requirements to operate a plane at night with a passenger, according to the NTSB.

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